Horse, of Course
(Winter 2010-2011 - Vol. 23 No. 4) By Angene Wilson
Why do we eat what we eat? Maybe just because we do? Why didn’t I particularly want to try the termites my students were catching and eating as a delicacy in Liberia? Why did I eat grasscutter in Nigeria but I wouldn’t eat groundhog (the same thing) in the U.S.? Why didn’t I volunteer to try one of the mice on a stick sold on the side of the road in Malawi? When I read Luke Meinzen’s story “Horse, Of Course,” I knew it could be the topic for a lesson plan, maybe for a sociology class, maybe for a home economics foods class. Of course, as a Kentuckian who has just seen the movie “Secretariat” and who worked at the World Equestrian Games in Lexington this fall, I couldn’t eat horse myself!
After reading “Horse, Of Course,” students will consider why we eat what we eat and plan a special smorgasbord of food from the family traditions of students in the class.
Article in the Winter 2010 WorldView magazine:
- “Horse, Of Course” by Luke Meinzen
Introduce the WorldView article by asking students what animals they would eat, followed by what they would never consider eating and why. Be sure to point out Mongolia on world map. After students have read “Horse, Of Course,” ask for their general reactions. Discuss the author’s assertion that “because we don’t” is our main reason for not eating horse. Discuss food preferences and dislikes of class members and their rationales. “Why do you like mac and cheese?” “I could never eat dog.” Raise the question of the nutritional value of various animals and ask if there are students who are vegans or vegetarians and want to talk about their reasons for following that eating pattern.
(If you would like to include additional food stories, look at the excerpts from Voices from the Peace Corps: Fifty Years of Kentucky Volunteers on page 4 of the Winter 2010 Global Education News and ask different students to read each one.)
Have students plan a smorgasbord of foods from their backgrounds for a later class — with descriptions of foods. Or challenge each student to learn about and try a food or recipe that is new to him or her, its history and cultural value, nutritional value, why it is eaten – as a report to the class.